How can we answer the Risk Question: Is it worth it?

Wofür lohnt es sich, ein Risiko einzugehen? Wie lassen sich Gefahrensituationen einschätzen? Was ist gefährlich? Wie geht man mit der eigenen Angst um, die einen schon mal überwältigen kann, wenn man nur unter Eingehung eines hohen Risiko ans Ziel gelangen kann?

Susanne Koelbl stellt sich diese Fragen immer wieder auf ihren Reisen. Fahren oder nicht fahren? Wie sehr kann man einem Informanten trauen, in dessen Hände man sich begibt und dem man in einer Krisenregion sein Leben anvertraut? Die SPIEGEL-Reporterin spricht darüber, wie sie Entscheidungen fällt und warum die Angst doch ein guter Berater ist.

Ihre Lehren aus 20 Jahren Reportagen: “You have to use your head and your heart. And you have to have a bit of good luck every now and then. What I learned is, to do two things at the same time: (1) observe the situation and (2) observe yourself, to try to find a balance between what the risk could be and what my intuition is telling me. Should I stay or should I go?

It always come down to the same decision. If you don’t feel that your wishing is strong, if you don’t think that the answers you might find are worth the risk … when there is more fear than vision … I follow my instinct and simply stay at home.”

About the speaker

Susanne Koelbl is an award winning journalist, and has been a foreign correspondent with Germany’s leading news magazine, Der Spiegel, since 1991. She has reported extensively from war zones and crisis regions in many parts of the world, including the Balkan countries, Georgia, Syria, Iran, Irak, Afghanistan and Pakistan. She is a frequent and well-known commentator in the German print and television media. In addition to her journalistic activities, Susanne Koelbl also acts as a visiting professor at Leipzig University, and has for many years participated as an international capacity builder in the InWEnt program for the training of young foreign journalists from around the world.

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What counts for me today is: I had a vision, I went for it, and I enjoyed the result of my courage. Since then, I have trusted my instinct, I made mistakes, paid for them, learned quickly, and kept moving. — Susanne Koelbl

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